When you walk into your grocery store, you will find stocked shelves and bins full of fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy and bakery goods. Have you wondered what happens to those items once their best-use-by date nears? Rather than throw perfectly good food away, retailers donate unsold food items to the Valley Food Bank and its network of pantries, ensuring any surplus food goes to better use than the landfill.
“When our organization committed to Fresh Rescue Program, we knew we needed help,” said Kenny. “Our food rescue partners at the Valley Food Bank have done an amazing job helping us. A network of local organizations pick up from our store location each day our receiving department is open, and that is exactly what we needed.”
Through the Valley Food Bank, retailers—including Albertsons, Vons, Trader Joe’s, Target and Smart ‘n Final—help provide food for an average of 16,340 people each month.
These donations go straight from stores back to our warehouse for gleaning and get into the hands of people who would not be able to afford to go into a market and buy all that food. Not only are donations helping to feed people, but retailers are also helping the environment by not throwing that product away. It is one of the best business values retail stores can make; it is better than any recycling option.
Rescuing surplus food by donating it to the Valley Food Bank while it is still fresh can be more cost-effective than merely waiting to compost it. State regulations require businesses to recycle any excess food through composting or other programs. Donating food to the Food Bank fulfills this requirement for stores and also reduces the resource strain that tends to be associated with typical disposal. For instance, rather than paying hauling companies to pick up materials, the Food Bank accepts donations for free. So there we have the win–win: Folks get great food, the retailer gets a tax-deductible receipt, and the landfill is spared.